SuperSeedz Giveaway

Pumpkin seeds a plenty, pumpkin seeds galore.

We recently received some samples from SuperSeedz.  I certainly didn’t think there would be quite the selection, but there is.

Super Spicy SuperSeedz

SuperSeedz are dry roasted and shelled pumpkin seeds.  They are gluten-free as well as peanut- and tree nut-free, vegan, and msg-free.

We first tried the Really Naked, to give us a baseline comparison.   “They taste like pumpkin seeds.”  Thank you, Sherlock Braden.

Tomato Italiano, I dub thee “Sir Pizza Seeds.”  Seriously, it’s like a tiny crunchy pizza.

“Now, Sea Salt is how it’s supposed to be seasoned.”  Well, I guess that means these are Braden’s favorites.  They are pretty great, I must admit.  Corice has named these her favorite, too.

Oooh, 9 grams of protein per serving.  Can you say gym snack?

They are also high in fiber, zinc, and Omega 3.

Do you like curry?  That sort of sweet, fragrant blend of spices that just seems to pop up everywhere.  Love it!  I bet these would be great on a salad, adding a crunch and some interesting flavor.  Mmmm…  No, wait, Corice has decided Original Curry are her favorite after all.  (“Can I have some more of the yellow ones?” she asks.)  Um, she just stole the bag.

Somewhat Spicy would be great on a taco salad!  It’s really not hot, but that spice does linger a bit.  It’s really making me scared to try Super Spicy.  That might need some lettuce to calm me down.  Carter, however, manned up and loved on the Super Spicy.  I think they were Martin’s favorite.

There is also Coco Joe, which is a chocolate/coffee flavor.  I don’t do coffee myself, so these will migrate to Monica.  We like to hook each other up with tasty food.  :)

Sugar & Cinnamon, “they’re sweet…more Captain Obvious from Braden.”  I’m glad he’s enjoying himself.  These have a lot more depth to them than I would have originally thought because of the vanilla.  They only have 2 grams of sugar per serving.  They aren’t a dessert, but kind of like cinnamon toast (if you hold it upside down and shake off much of the sugar – at least, if you add sugar like I might have seen someone else do).

Cinnamon Sugar SuperSeedz

SuperSeedz would like to give you a chance to try them all out, too!  One winner will receive 8 packs of SuperSeedz (they come in 8 flavors!).

Check out SuperSeedz on Facebook and Twitter, and give them a like or follow.  Comment on this blog to enter the giveaway.  Tell me what you think would be the best thing about these (i.e., flavor selection, high protein, etc.).  This giveaway will close at 9pm central on Friday, March 7, 2014.

Posted in Giveaway, Reviews | 9 Comments

Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes; & Giveaway

I have a new cookbook to share with you, and I even have one to give away!

Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes is a beautiful cookbook full of luscious pictures and recipes.

I have a wonderful Q&A with the author, Debbie Adler, to share with you, as well as a recipe for Vivid Vanilla Cupcakes.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post about what’s your favorite thing about living “free-from…”.  Mine is not feeling like I’m about to die most days.  :/  This giveaway will end at 9pm central on February 28, 2014.  It is open to U.S. addresses.

www.sweetdebbiesorganiccupcakes.comSweet Debbies - low res cover


Have you always been sugar-free, gluten-free, and allergy-free?
I was found guilty of eating Yodels (ok that dates me quite a bit doesn’t it?) in my
bedroom as a child, as well as of obeying the 11th commandment that says “Thou shalt
eat gluten-filled bagels every Sunday morning for eternity”. So no, I have not always
been a free from person, but I educated myself along the way and became a free from
fighter!

What made you decide to eliminate sugar, dairy and other allergens from your
diet?
I started reading medical journals, this was before the internet, and learned of studies
that were being done that pointed to sugar being the culprit for a host of scary-sounding
diseases and conditions, as well as the cause of premature wrinkles. That was it – I
stopped eating sugar cold Tofurkey. Dairy I stopped eating after reading Skinny Bitch.
Thank you Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin you smart and skinny bitches.

What health benefits have you seen after making these changes to your diet?
I lost excess weight and I’m more toned and in better shape now than I was in my 20’s. I
feel better, too, because I don’t feel as clogged up as I did before.

What are some food substitutes that you’ve found you like better than the “real
thing”?
I’m a big drinker now – of coconut milk. That’s a miracle liquid unto itself. I also use
stevia and coconut nectar as replacements for sugar.

How did you end up as the owner of your own bakery?
I wanted to eat a cupcake that was made with an all-natural, low-glycemic, sugar
substitute and couldn’t find it anywhere so I figured out how to make them myself and
decided to share.

Did your bakery start off allergy-free, sugar-free and vegan or have your treats
evolved over time?
My bakery started off just sugar-free and organic with a few gluten-free options. Then
when my son was diagnosed with severe and life-threatening food allergies I also made
it completely allergy-free, gluten-free and vegan.

What’s your absolute favorite dessert?
My new favorite, since it changes all the time, is Sweet Debbie’s Dark Chocolate
Drizzled Cranberry Macaroons. I eat one at least every four hours.

Vivid Vanilla Cupcakes

VIVID VANILLA CUPCAKES – by Debbie Adler

Makes 12 cupcakes

Reprinted with Permission

Must Have

Cupcakes

12 standard-size paper baking cups
3/4 cup unsweetened plain rice milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1  1/4 teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/8 teaspoon stevia powder
1/3 cup vegan, soy-free plain yogurt (Debbie uses So Delicious coconut milk yogurt.)
1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scooped out and reserved

Vanilla Frosting

2  1/2 cups powdered erythritol
6 tablespoons warm vanilla rice milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scooped out and reserved

Must Do

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper baking cups.

2. To make the cupcakes, mix together the rice milk and apple cider vinegar in a

2-cup measuring cup.

3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.

4. Add the grapeseed oil, coconut nectar, vanilla and stevia to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Next add the rice milk mixture and stir until it is absorbed and the batter is smooth. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla bean seeds until well combined.

5. Pour the batter into the measuring cup, as the spout will make it easier to pour the batter into the cupcake tin without spillage.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake tin, dividing it evenly. Each cup should be about two-thirds full. Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 16 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown and bounce back slightly to the touch. Rotate the cupcake tin from front to back halfway through baking.

7. Transfer the cupcake tin from the oven to a wire rack and let sit for 10 minutes before removing the cupcakes to cool completely.

 

8. To make the vanilla frosting, mix together the powdered erythritol and warm vanilla rice milk in a medium-size bowl. Add the coconut oil and salt and stir until smooth and well incorporated. Stir in the vanilla bean seeds.

9. Frost the completely cooled cupcakes. Keep unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or wrap and freeze them for up to 3 months. Leftover frosting keeps in the fridge for about 4 weeks if stored in an airtight container.

 

Posted in Giveaway, Reviews | 8 Comments

Gluten-Free 101 by Carol Fenster, Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Carol Fenster began cooking gluten-free meals over 25 years ago. Back then, learning that she had to avoid wheat was quite a blow to her lifestyle and she didn’t know anyone else who avoided wheat. Her family didn’t understand how anyone could avoid wheat since her father raised wheat on their family farm in Nebraska and she married into a wheat-farming family. 

Gluten-Free-101But she found solace in sweets, so one of the first recipes she converted to gluten-free was her mother’s chocolate cake that Carol ate throughout her childhood. Not surprisingly, that recipe found its way into Carol’s original Gluten-Free 101 cookbook. Now she could eat chocolate cake, just like everyone else.

A few years ago Carol noticed that Red Velvet cupcakes were everywhere and, given her penchant for sweets, she vowed to develop her own gluten-free version. So, when Gluten-Free 101 was revised and expanded into the new Gluten-Free 101: The Essential Beginner’s Guide to Easy Gluten-Free Cooking (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), she included it so everyone—especially beginners who want to eat the same foods as everyone else—could easily make it. So, here is the recipe.It makes a gorgeous little cupcake, dainty and flat—perfect for lots of icing on top. Enjoy!

 

gluten free 101 Red Velvet Cupcake

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free 101: The Essential Beginner’s Guide to Easy Gluten-Free Cooking by Carol Fenster (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

Now you can enjoy this wildly popular treat, just like everybody else. This recipe makes dainty little cupcakes with flat tops (easier to frost), and their brilliant red color is so inviting. Arrange them on a pedestal cake stand for maximum effect when serving your guests.  

Makes 12 cupcakes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes

1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
[3/4] teaspoon xanthan gum
[1/4] teaspoon baking soda
[1/4] teaspoon salt
[3/4] cup sugar
[1/2] cup butter or buttery spread, melted and cooled slightly
2 large whole eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon red food coloring
[1/2] cup water, at room temperature
1 batch Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

[1] Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup standard nonstick (gray, not black) muffin with paper liners

[2] In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour blend, cocoa, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt until well blended.

[3] In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Add the vanilla and food coloring to the water. With the mixer on low speed, beat in one-third of the flour mixture at a time alternating with the water, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Spoon [1/4] cup of the batter into each liner.

[4] Bake until the cupcakes are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack to cool completely. Frost and serve.

Per frosted cupcake: 325 calories; 3g protein; 16g total fat; 1g fiber; 43g carbohydrates; 37mg cholesterol; 135mg sodium

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed, beat 3 ounces softened, reduced-fat cream cheese or cream cheese alternative, 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk or water, and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract together until well blended and smooth.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 ½ cups sorghum flour
1 ½ cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk together and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry, place.

Posted in Desserts, Reviews | Leave a comment

10-Minute Pizza

We make tortilla pizzas often around here, but I’ve never thought to put steak on them before.  Enjoy this guest post/recipe from cibo verde.

LA-based Paolo Mascitti, celebrity trainer, lifestyle expert and founder of cibo verde, a meal delivery system that caters to customers’ body calculations to help them reach their weight goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s great for the parents and kids love it!

                                                      Gluten-Free Meat and Veggie Pizza Gluten Free Pizza

Gluten-free tortilla

1 oz cooked steak (diced)

 1 oz yellow onions

 2 oz red and green peppers (julienne cut )

 2 oz pizza sauce

3 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese

 INSTRUCTIONS

 Place the gluten-free tortilla on a baking sheet/pan, add marinara making sure to spread evenly on crust, followed by cheese, onions, peppers and steak.

 Place baking pan with the tortilla pizza in the oven for 5 minutes just to allow the cheese to melt.

The entire process will take no more than 10 minutes and you’re ready to eat! BON APPETIT!

Posted in Main Dish | Leave a comment

Smart Soup

Raise your hand if you love soup!

Raise your hand if you’ve hand a cold for three weeks and soup helps you feel better!  Honestly, is it ever going to warm up outside?  (Okay, I guess I can’t complain too much since it almost hit 70 the other day, but I’ve never seen so much cold in one winter in Texas before – and it’s not even February yet.  Brrr!)

But, soup, ah, soup.

I received some samples from Smart Soup awhile back and have been making my way through their awesome flavors.  Smart Soups are frozen gluten-free meals that are full of flavor.  They taste fresh, unlike your typical prepared soups.

Smart Soups are:

-Gluten-free
-Vegan/vegetarian
-Low sodium
-Low fat and low in cholesterol
-All-natural, with no preservatives
-American Heart Association Certified as a Heart Healthy food (Heart-Check mark)
-Good source of fiber
-Made only from REAL ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce
-Meet many special dietary requirements (e.g. celiac, diabetes) and are a healthy, convenient meal option.

SmartSoup

The Thai Coconut Curry is packed with spicy, bold flavors with lots of chunks of vegetables and coconut.  It is definitely a real pick-me-up, wake-me-up soup.  You can see the herbs – I love that!

Smart Soup

Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass is spicy and sweet, a curry-based soup.  Chunks of carrots, coconut, and some beans help give substance to this great mix of flavors.  It is definitely different for me, but I really like it!

Santa Fe Corn ChowderThe Santa Fe Corn Chowder is tomato-based and full of corn, black beans, and chunks of potato and red bell pepper.  It has just a hint of spice and is perfect for a cold day when you have a cold (my life in January, in a nutshell).  It certainly helped me breathe better.

The French Lentil, another tomato-based soup, was a “sharesies” with Carter.  While I was warming it up (you know, those long two minutes), he said “I bet that soup is really healthy” while reading the box.  Carter loved the chunks of carrots and red bell pepper, its “very good” flavor.  It has a slight hint of sweetness and of spice to it.  My little man said it is “easier to drink it” (my husband hates soup, so I usually make mine really thick).  I, however, am quite composed and can accurately and purposefully wield my spoon in a proper manner.  :P

If you like fresh-tasting soups without all the hassle of making it yourself, give Smart Soup a try.  And if you’ve got any connection to the north winds, please tell them to leave Texas alone.

Posted in Reviews | 2 Comments